flexible-array member conversion patches for 5.8-rc2

Hi Linus,

Please, pull the following patches that replace zero-length arrays with
flexible-array members.

Notice that all of these patches have been baking in linux-next for
two development cycles now.

There is a regular need in the kernel to provide a way to declare having a
dynamically sized set of trailing elements in a structure. Kernel code should
always use “flexible array members”[1] for these cases. The older style of
one-element or zero-length arrays should no longer be used[2].

C99 introduced “flexible array members”, which lacks a numeric size for the
array declaration entirely:

struct something {
        size_t count;
        struct foo items[];
};

This is the way the kernel expects dynamically sized trailing elements to be
declared. It allows the compiler to generate errors when the flexible array
does not occur last in the structure, which helps to prevent some kind of
undefined behavior[3] bugs from being inadvertently introduced to the codebase.
It also allows the compiler to correctly analyze array sizes (via sizeof(),
CONFIG_FORTIFY_SOURCE, and CONFIG_UBSAN_BOUNDS). For instance, there is no
mechanism that warns us that the following application of the sizeof() operator
to a zero-length array always results in zero:

struct something {
        size_t count;
        struct foo items[0];
};

struct something *instance;

instance = kmalloc(struct_size(instance, items, count), GFP_KERNEL);
instance->count = count;

size = sizeof(instance->items) * instance->count;
memcpy(instance->items, source, size);

At the last line of code above, size turns out to be zero, when one might have
thought it represents the total size in bytes of the dynamic memory recently
allocated for the trailing array items. Here are a couple examples of this
issue[4][5]. Instead, flexible array members have incomplete type, and so the
sizeof() operator may not be applied[6], so any misuse of such operators will
be immediately noticed at build time.

The cleanest and least error-prone way to implement this is through the use of
a flexible array member:

struct something {
        size_t count;
        struct foo items[];
};

struct something *instance;

instance = kmalloc(struct_size(instance, items, count), GFP_KERNEL);
instance->count = count;

size = sizeof(instance->items[0]) * instance->count;
memcpy(instance->items, source, size);

Thanks
--
Gustavo

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flexible_array_member
[2] https://github.com/KSPP/linux/issues/21
[3] https://git.kernel.org/linus/76497732932f15e7323dc805e8ea8dc11bb587cf
[4] https://git.kernel.org/linus/f2cd32a443da694ac4e28fbf4ac6f9d5cc63a539
[5] https://git.kernel.org/linus/ab91c2a89f86be2898cee208d492816ec238b2cf
[6] https://gcc.gnu.org/onlinedocs/gcc/Zero-Length.html
w1: Replace zero-length array with flexible-array

There is a regular need in the kernel to provide a way to declare having a
dynamically sized set of trailing elements in a structure. Kernel code should
always use “flexible array members”[1] for these cases. The older style of
one-element or zero-length arrays should no longer be used[2].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flexible_array_member
[2] https://github.com/KSPP/linux/issues/21

Signed-off-by: Gustavo A. R. Silva <gustavoars@kernel.org>
1 file changed